Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

ANIMAL:
Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Lasiorhinus latifrons

Type of Animal:
Wombat

Habitat:
Inland semiarid/arid habitats: grasslands, woodlands, plains, savannas, shrublands, semidesert/desert, mallee, scrub, forest, steppe w/ low shrubs, sandy/limestone coastal regions

Location(s):
SE W Australia, southern S Australia, SW New South Wales

Appearance:
Smallest wombat species, stocky robust build, flattened claws, very short tail, pig like snout, greyish to tan to brown coloration, whitish neck/chest, pointy ears

Food/Diet:
Grasses (prefers perennials), herbs, sedges, forbs, leaves, stems, roots, tubers, wood, bark, mosses, shrubs

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks

Lifestyle:
Solitary or groups of up to 5 led by dominant male

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Jack
Female: Jill
Young: Joey
Group: Wisdom/Colony/Warren

Weight:
Male: 41.9-79.4 lbs
Female: 38.6-79.4 lbs
Young: 2 lbs

Gestation:
3 weeks 

Life Span:
15 years in wild, up to 34 years in captivity

Height:
0.83-1.16 ft, same for both sexes

Body Length:
Male: 2.76-3.64 ft
Female: 2.79-3.6 ft
Young: 1.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 1.2-2.4 in
Female: 1-2.1 in

Main predators are foxes, dingoes, feral dogs, & eagles.
 
Declining due to Sarcoptic mange, habitat loss, illegal culling, grazing competition from livestock/rabbits, collisions w/ vehicles, drought, low reproductive rate, & persecution by farmers due to digging habits & as pests.
 
Like rodents, teeth grow throughout lifetime.
 
Joeys stay in pouch for 6-8 months & stay w/ mom for up to a year & a half.
 
To construct burrows, they sit on hind end, using forepaws to dig at earth & push it to side. Warrens often have multiple entrances.
 
Mortality rate of young high in dry seasons.
 
Sexually mature at 2 years old.
 
Active in evening in cooler periods & morning in hotter periods.

Fun Fact(s):
Have some of the biggest brains among marsupials.
 
Pouches positioned backwards opening toward rear rather than head so dirt doesn’t get in pouch.
 
Can move up to 3 ft of dirt in single day.
 
Due to very slow metabolism, digestion can take as long as 2 weeks.
 
Poop tends to be very dry, w/ only 50% water.
 
Use fermentation by bacterial colonies in intestines to help digest cellulose.
 
They can run as fast as 25 mph.

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